Are Your Headshots Costing You That Corner Office?


Back in the olden days, people often thought they could tell a personality by their handshake. “I was a little wigged out by how strong this lady’s grip was. She must be a bit controlling.” Or what about, “His handshake was like a dead fish. I bet he’s a spineless jellyfish.” Harsh, right? But people absolutely think this way when they meet you. The handshake is still a great a way to determine a personality, BUT what if they are not meeting you in person? These days, with job recruiting and business dealings being online, you may not even GET a chance to shake someone’s hand. So how are you making your first impression? And how can you differentiate yourself in the sea of John Does in the online world?


Think of how often you use: Facebook, LinkedIn, dating sites, Google+. The social media platforms are endless, and your profile picture SAYS something about you. If your picture is either an iphone #selfie or a picture of you with someone else that you cropped them out, what do you think that communicates to future whatevers (boss, significant others, clients)? (Cough. Madison Yen can help with this dilemma. Email me to set up an appointment!! Cough.)

So now that we have established why you need a good headshot and you have already set up your appointment 🙂 , we now come to the age-old question of what do I wear and what do I bring??

First of all, I offer two kinds of headshots: the Corporate head shots, which I like to call the “One and done’s,” and then the professional headshot package (I don’t really have a cool name for that one). Think of corporate headshots as school day pictures for adults, and the professional headshot package as senior portraits for adults. And no, I’m not kidding you. These two types of headshots require different outfits.

Corporate headshots are offered on a white, grey, or blue background. They are very simple and to the point – great for corporations. This is most likely the kind you will want if your employer asks you to get one or if you are on the prowl for a new job.

For these headshots, I recommend business professional dress. That means a suit, guys! You don’t have to wear a tie if that’s not your thing, but you definitely need a button up with a suit jacket that fits. You can wear any color button up and jacket as long as it doesn’t detract from your face. If it’s too loud, choose something else. And it needs to be ironed or wrinkle-free. Ladies, you can also wear a button up, a blouse, or a dress with a jacket. Sweaters will suffice too. Typically for a biz professional outfit, people should not wear sleeveless shirts without a jacket, but that’s up to you. Bring a few jewelry pieces for that extra pizazz, including earrings and possibly a statement necklace. It really does make a difference. (Again, not too loud though.) Also, note that your legs will not be in the picture, so your pants do not have to match, but it may get you in the “money making/let’s get down to business” zone if you’re rocking a power-suit.

My best advice for the corporate headshots are to pretend you are going on a job interview. With that mentality, that is what this headshot can do for you – open doors for job interviews. It shows people you mean business and that you can dress up and be the star player you are. Employers will be drooling over it, too. Here’s some examples of a corporate headshot.

For the professional headshot package that we offer, you will not only get a corporate headshot, but you also get casual shots. These shots are great for a more casual feel, and it says to the viewer, “yeah, this person looks like they can be fun AND professional.” 😉 I love these sessions because you can really express yourself through the clothes you bring, the poses you do, and the locations we choose together. It adds life to your profile and differentiates you from the rest of the pack. In addition to checking out my list below, refer back to one of my earlier articles on the DO’S AND DON’TS! There are some great tips on there and minor overlap.

For these photo sessions, you will want to bring:

1. Many outfit options. It’s better to be over-prepared with great options than stuck with only one that you may not be happy with. Don’t forget to coordinate shoes. And if it’s chilly, bring a nice jacket. We MAY do some outdoor shots, and a nice jacket is definitely a breath of fresh air. (ha – get it?? Outside, fresh air…never mind.) For outfits, here’s what I’m talking about. 1 business professional outfit. 2-3 swanky outfits. (Something that you would wear to go out on a date or to a semi-nice party, aka snappy casual.)  1-2 casual outfit with jeans, but still a semi-nice shirt/blouse or polo. Like I said, bring a couple of different tops/options that you can rotate out of if something isn’t working. Make sure your clothes look like YOU. If you would never wear jeans to work, then don’t even worry about bringing those. And same for the suit. These headshots are for you!

2. Things that make you look like YOU. If you wear glasses everyday, and people will probably not recognize you without them, then wear your glasses! We can do some without glasses, too. This goes for necklaces, certain jackets, and colors. Be yourself because that’s what people are looking for…😉

3. Clothes that you are comfortable in. This is a hard section to talk about because it goes a lot deeper than picking out some clothes for a little photo session. Now, we are starting to get into the body image part of photography. Listen, I get it! I’m a girl. And on top of that, I have a really hard time getting my picture taken because I think I look super awkward and bigger on camera than in person. So, I feel ya here! There’s a reason why I like being behind the camera instead of in front of it. But this session in particular is ALL ABOUT THE CONFIDENCE you put out!

So this point is more concerning bringing clothes that will bring you PEACE of mind and make you feel HOT AS HELL. And, yes! It’s totally ok for you to feel hot as hell in some professional photos. (I mean…appropriately dressed, but still hot as hell…) So, if you think you have big arms – bring a jacket, or a sweater, or something with sleeves. If you don’t like your legs then wear pants, or a long skirt, or tights. You get my point. Do NOT bring things that you recognize make you look uncomfortable or fat. (If you have to ask, don’t wear it). Here are just a few things that I recommend staying away from. Don’t feel like you have to follow this 100% or even at all. This is just what I’ve noticed. The tight and unforgiving. Folks, just be honest with yourself here. It’s ok. No judgement from me or my team! Stripes can be kinda mean too. Flowy. I know this can be somewhat surprising, but things with a ton of fabric like this look great in person because there’s movement. It’s like an optical illusion that you can’t really see any exact body lines. But most of the time in photos, the flowy dresses really just make you look bigger because of all the fabric. What do I recommend? Well, I personally, like darker colors with a defined waste, but you have to do you. This is also coming from a lady who wears black almost every day. I can’t even help it. I lived in Paris for a bit, and that’s just how I roll.

4. Touch up stuff. I’m talking bring the make-up bag. You will want to freshen up your lipstick. Bring a hairbrush just in case. And when/if you get all sweaty bring some powder for your nose and forehead. The shininess will show through and trust me when I say you will be glowing. Also, a few hairpins are nice if you want to change your hairdo midway through. Guys, bring the sweat rag. I’m sooooo not kidding here! 😀

5. Check the undergarments, ladies. Don’t wear a top+bra combo that won’t cooperate. What I mean is: if your bra strap pops out once, it will inevitably pop out again. And again. And again. And make sure it’s not too tight. Bra or undies. You may not think of it before you come to the shoot, but that and the bra strap will be the first thing that you see when you get back the pictures. Avoid it all together with a different bra or a different top. Trust me.

So, do you feel like you are all ready for your headshot? Yes? Awesome!! Let me know if there is anything I can add to this list or more questions to answer! And remember to keep me (Madison Yen) in mind for your first impressions!

Till next time!


Photography Is My Love Affair

“Photography is a love affair with life.” -Burke Uzzle

Usually, the quotes you find online are kinda cheesy. But this one, I honestly believe it’s meaning with all of my soul (which is a tad dramatic, but so true.)!


Sometimes I feel blind. Blind to the world. To culture. To gifts. To my surroundings. To relationships. To love.

Sometimes, I feel blind because I took something for granted as though it would always be there.

And if you don’t notice it after a while, you get stuck living a life in the dark.

For me, it takes having a camera in front of my face for me to see again. To fall in love again.

Because when you actually look for things to be in love with, you’ll find them. And you don’t take them for granted like before.

It’s the action of finding something that’s worth taking a photo of that creates gratitude.

Just one photo has the ability to: freeze the best moments; take you back in time to ANY memory; be your personal mirror of your gifts, relationships, hopes, and fears; tell someone who you are and what you’re about; and start a conversation…good or bad.

Sometimes, a photo can express what you can’t find the words to say.

Whether it’s emotions during a wedding day. How you show love to your children. The respect you demand for your business. The passion you have for your craft.

Photography is my translator.

Let me show you what I have to say.


– madison